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Surprising Science

Public Option Dead

House members are now concentrating on what they can get in return for making concessions on the public option during the reconciliation process.

“With several prominent House Democrats acknowledging that they will likely have to give up a public option for insurance coverage in health care reform negotiations with the Senate, the focus has shifted to what concessions they can extract in return. The main issue on the radar is to try and ensure that newly created health insurance exchanges are national (the House version) and not state-based (the Senate version), say sources on and off the Hill. ‘That’s where people are going to be looking,’ said Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) when asked if this would be the key compromise if the public option is dropped. ‘I’m going to give you my own view, which is the House view, which is that I think we need a federal insurance exchange…. I think we’ve got to look closely at this. I think that it’s much easier… to keep insurance companies in check — it is simpler to administer. We’re going to have a checkerboard here [with the Senate bill]. And also I think you have to take a look at the political reality. Implementing reform is going to be much more difficult in some states than in others.’”

Ahead of next week’s healthcare reform summit, the White House and Senate Democrats are reviewing the posibility of passing legislation with a simple majority in the Senate.

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